« PreviousContinue »
rection of Christ they went into the holy city; for so, accord. ing to Erasmus, the ancient Greeks pointed the passage ;o and with this the Syriac agrees : et egressi sunt, et post resurrectionem ejus ingressi sunt, &c. That spiritual state in which the souls as well as bodies of the arising saints previously abode, might not improperly be called paradise ; and it was in this state, as appears to me, that the penitent thief was united to the other saints without polluting them by his company. Nor is it necessary to take the word to-day in its strict acceptation, but rather for a short time, as in 2 Sam. xvi. 3. Heb. iii. 7. However this may be, so much clear evidence should not be rejected on account of a single passage, of which it is not easy to give a satisfactory interpretation.
The eighth text is the forty-sixth verse of the same chapter; “ into thy hands I commend my spirit.”. But the spirit is not therefore separated from the body, or incapable of death ; for David uses the same language Psal. xxxi. 5. although he was not then about to die : "into thine hand I commit my spirit,” while it was yet abiding in, and with the body. So Stephen, Acts vii. 59. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. ... and when he had said this, he fell asleep.” It was not the bare spirit divested of the body that he commended to Christ, but the whole spirit and soul and body, as it is expressed 1 Thess. v. 23. Thus the spirit of Christ was to be raised again with the body on the third day, while that of Stephen was to be reserved till the appearing of the Lord. So 1 Pet. iv. 19. “let them commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing.”
The ninth passage is 2 Cor. v. 1-20. It is sufficiently apparent, however, that the object of this passage is not to inculcate the separation of the soul from the body, but to contrast the animal and terrestrial life of the whole man with the spiritual and heavenly. Hence in the first verse
6 Græci sic distinguunt, ut appareat eos statim mortuo Christo resurrexisse; verum non egressos e monumentis, nec apparuisse, priusquam resurrexisset Christus. Unde resurrexerunt positum est pro revir. erunt.' Erasmus ad Matt. xxviii. 55. He proceeds to quote Jerome, Chrysostom, and Origen in support of this interpretation. Theophylact and Augustine are against it.
7 “Sine noxa, a poetical allusion founded on the Greek and Roman notions of pollution. Compare Authoris ad Alexandri Mori supplementum responsio. • Tu quasi Rheno amine lustratus ; (quo devectum te in Belgium ais) et noxa omri ablutus.... ad tempus latuisti.' Prose Works, Symmors' ed. V. 332
house of this tabernacle” is opposed, not to the soul, but to
a building of God, an house not made with hands,” that is, to the final renewal of the whole man, as Beza also explains it,' whereby we are clothed upon” in the heavens, “being clothed ... not naked,” v. 3. This distinctly appears from the fourth
not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” See also v. 5. “now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God ;" not for the separation of the soul from the body, but for the perfecting of both. Wherefore the clause in the eighth verse,
to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,' must be understood of the consummation of our happiness; and the body must be taken for this frail life, as is common in the sacred writers, and the absence spoken of, v. 9. for our eternal departure to a heavenly world ; or perhaps to be “at home in the body, and to be absent from the Lord,” v. 6.
may mean nothing more than to be entangled in worldly affairs, and to have little leisure for heavenly things; the reason of which is given v. 7. “ for we walk by faith, not by sight:" whence it follows, v. 8. we are confident and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord;" that is, to renounce the worldly things as much as possible, and to be occupied with things heavenly. The ninth verse proves still more clearly that the expressions to be present and to be absent both refer to this life: “ wherefore we labour that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of God :" for no one supposes that the souls of men are occupied from the time of death to that of the resurrection in endeavours to render themselves acceptable to God in heaven; that is the employment of the present life, and its reward is not to be looked for till the second coming of Christ. For the apostle says, v. 10.
we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” There is consequently no recompense of good or bad after death,
8 • Arrepta occasione ex comparatione proxime præcedente, corpus istud. ut est in hac vita calamitosum, comparat cum caduco et fragili tabernaculo ; cui opponit cæleste domicilium, sic vocans firmam et pere em ejusdem corporis in cælo glorificati conditionem.... Est autem etiam hic locus, de futura gloria, isti tractationi de ministerii dignitate insertus, &e. Beza ad 2 Cor. v. 1.
previous to the day of judgment. Compare 1 Cor. xy. the whole of which chapter throws no small light on this passage. The same sense is to be ascribed to 2 Pet. i. 13— 15;
as long as I am in this tabernacle," &c. that is, in this life. It is however unnecessary to prolong this discussion, as there is scarcely one of the remaining passages of Scripture which has not been already explained by anticipation.
The fourth and last degree of death, is DEATH ETERNAL, THE PUNISHMENT OF THE DAMNED ; which will be considered in the twenty-seventh chapter."
CHAP. XIV.- OF MAN'S RESTORATION AND
OF CHRIST AS REDEEMER. WE have hitherto considered the Providence of God in relation to the fall of man ; we are now to consider it as operating in his restoration.
THE RESTORATION OF Man is the act whereby man, being delivered from sin and death by God the Father through Jesus Christ, is raised to a far niore excellent state of grace and glory than that from which he had fallen. Rom. v. 15. “ but not as the offence, so also is the free gift ; for if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." v. 17. " for if by one man's offence death reigned by one ; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." See also v. 21. Eph. i. 9, 10.
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.... that he might gather together in one all things in Christ." 1 John iii. 8. “ he that committeth sin is of the devil .... for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
In this restoration are comprised the REDEMPTION and RENOVATION OF MAN.
REDEMPTION is that act whereby CHRIST, BEING SENT IN THE FULNESS OF TIME, REDEEMED ALL BELIEVERS AT THE
There is a mistake in this reference, arising probably froni a subse. quent alteration in the arrangement of the chapters. The subject is con. sidered in the thirty-third chapter.
PRICE OF HIS OWN BLOOD, BY HIS OWN VOLUNTARY ACT, CONFORMABLY TO THE ETERNAL COUNSEL AND GRACE DE GOD THE FATHER.
CONFORMABLY TO THE ETERNAL COUNSEL OF GOD THE FATHER. 1 Pet. i. 20. “The Lamb.... preordained before the foundation of the world.” See other passages to the same effect in the fourth chapter, on Predestination.
GRACE. Even before man had, properly speaking, confessed his guilt, that is, before he had avowed it ingenuously and in the spirit of repentance, God nevertheless, in pronouncing the punishment of the serpent, previously to passing sentence on man, promised that he would raise up from the seed of the woman one who should bruise the serpent's head, Gen. iii. 15. and thus anticipated the condemnation of mankind by a gratuitous redemption. John üi. 16. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son—.” Rom. iii. 25. “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith.” v. 8. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Heb. ii. 9. “that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” John iv. 9, 10. “in this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son... not that we loved God, but that he loved us." Hence the Father is often called our Saviour, inasmuch as it is by his eternal counsel and grace alone that we are saved.
Luke i. 47. “my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.” v. 68, 69. “ blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” 1 Tim. i. 1. "by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.” ii. 3." for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." iv. 10. “ we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men.” Tit. i. 3. “
according to the commandment of God our Saviour." ii. 10.“that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” iii
. 4 6. " but after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, .... according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Jude 25, “to the only wise God our Saviour be glory;" where the Vetus Interpres and some of
JOCTRINE. the Greek manugor
add, “ through Jesus Christ Lord!!!
CHRIST BEING SENT IN THE FULNESS OF TIME. Gal. iv. 4. “but when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son." Eph. i. 10. "in the dispensation of the fulness of times."
AT THE PRICE OF HIS OWN BLOOD. Isai. liü. 1, &c. Acts xx. 28. “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Rom. iii. 25.
Rom. iii. 25. “a propitiation through faith in his blood.” 1 Cor. vi. 20. ye are bought with a price.” See also vii. 23. Gal. ii. 13. “ being made a curse for
Eph. v. 2. “ he hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.” Heb. Ü. 9. “ that he should taste death for every man.” xii. 20. “ through the blood of the everlasting covenant. 1 Pet. i. 19. “with the precious blood of Christ. ii. 18. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins." Rev. i. 5. “that washed us from our sins in his own blood." 4. 9. “thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.” xiii. 8. “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
BY KIS OWN VOLUNTARY Act. Isai. liii. 10. “upon condition that his soul make a trespass offering," Horsley's Translation. Matt. xx. 28. “ to give his life a ransom for many.' John x. 15, 18. “I lay down my life for the sheep : no man taketh from me, but I lay it down myself; I have power to take it again.” Eph. v. 2. “ he hath given himself for us.” Philipp. i. 8. “ became obedient unto death.” Tim. ï. 6. “who gave himself a ransom for all.”
ALL BELIEVERS. Rom. iii. 25. “a propitiation through faith in his blood.”
There is no other Redeemer or Mediator besides Christ. Acts iv. 12. “ neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby
1 These words are found in fifteen manuscripts, according to Wetstein, and in the Vulgate, two Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic versions. See also Mill on this verse.
2 . That his soul should make the trespass offering, expresses that it was with the full consent of his own mind that he made the painful atonement. See Vitringa upon the place.' Horsley's Bibl. Crit. in loc. Quandoqui. dem semetipsum exposuit, Tremellius. If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice. Lowth's Translation. A different sense is given to the passage in our authorised version : when thou shalt make his soul an offering for rin.